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|POPEYE THEME SONG | POPEYE CHARACTERS | CLOTHING | COLLECTIBLES | DVD
HOW TO DRAW POPEYE | CANDY CIGARETTES | VIDEO GAME | POPEYE COSTUMES
|Popeye The Sailor Man Lyrics:
I'm Strong to the finish
Popeye, more accurately known as Popeye the Sailor, is a rough-and-tumble, hard fightin' sailor man in love with the girl of his dreams, the fickle Olive Oyl. He faces romantic and business competition from Bluto, aka Brutus. Popeye began as a comic strip in 1919 and ended daily comics in 1994 - however, new weekly strips continue to be published. Popeye is a multi-generational cultural force, published in newspapers, watched in movie theaters and TV, made into a live action film and even videogames. New Popeye cartoons have been published regularly for over ninety years, and the comic is still going strong.
Popeye is everywhere. The restaurant chain Popeye's chicken (which originally attempted to get around licensing the name but finally succumbed), the Robin Williams movie, the videogames, the endless classic cartoons reveal one thing - Popeye is a force of nature, a cultural icon, a phenomenon that should not easily be overlooked. It's easy to take Popeye for granted. Generation after generation of kids and adults have been inculcated with everything Popeye from a young age. The fact that people underestimate Popeye's influence is a testament to how omnipresent he is. EVERY kid knows Popeye eats spinach to get strong. Every kid has seen a Popeye cartoon. Kids of every generation had their first experience with tobacco through Popeye's "candy sticks". But who is Popeye?
Popeye is a sailor. He loves Olive Oyl. Originally Olive was completely loyal to Popeye, and the stories featured Bluto threatening Olive and Popeye rescuing her. To add some dramatic tension, later stories focused on the idea that Olive was fickle - her love was up for grabs, and Popeye and Bluto had to prove who was the better man. In many ways it seems, especially in the movie shorts and animated cartoons, that Popeye and Bluto have never met before the cartoon begins, or at least have no memory of their romantic dueling. Sometimes Popeye and Bluto will be business partners (in the moving business), or in direct competition with one another (in the diner business). Sometimes Olive Oyl isn't even present in their business battles - they often fight over Wimpy, a permanently parsimonious Englishman who will "gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today". Wimpy is famous for not paying - it seems that Popeye and Bluto never catch on that Wimpy is the worst kind of customer. Perhaps they don't care - their competitive spirit seems to take over, and they fight to extreme ends (often destroying everything around them).
Popeye has a dad, named Pappy. Unbelievably, Pappy is actually worse tempered and more ornery than Popeye himself. Popeye's little nephew, Swee' Pea was in danger of serious corporal punishment from Pappy, who believed Popeye was far too forgiving of the wailing and often trouble-making baby. Pappy gets into a lot of trouble, often with women, and Popeye has to help out.
Popeye stories are simple. Popeye starts the adventure in competition with Bluto, or partners with Bluto - it doesn't matter. Something (a customer, Wimpy, Olive Oyl) comes between them, and the two fight. Bluto starts out winning the competition, often he plays dirty and mean. Popeye is almost beaten, eats some spinach (which Bluto sometimes tries to stop from happening), and then Popeye beats the stuffing out of Bluto, usually to catchy music. It's a timeless formula, but it never gets tired.
Popeye "saves the day" with spinach, which basically turns Popeye into Superman. As the spinach enters Popeye's body, you can actually see his muscles get bigger, they become animated and sometimes turn into virtual "machines" showing how powerful they are. Woe betide anyone who gets in Popeye's way once he's had his spinach - he is unstoppable, and will certainly clobber his enemies into the ground (often literally). Almost always, this means Bluto is going to get his comeuppance, and Bluto's just deserts aren't metaphysical, they're just physical - in Popeye, the bad guy gets the spinach pounded out of him but good.
As stated, Popeye is everywhere. From early board games (which are now collectible classics and museum pieces) to modern videogames (including mobile phone games), you can't escape Popeye. Huge VHS and DVD collections of the cartoons are available. Over ninety years of comic strips are for sale in book format. Cartoon Network shows Popeye cartoons regularly. If you're hungry, you can get chicken from Popeyes - and for awhile, Wimpy had his own burger place too (in England!) Popeye's appeal is simple. Everyone can relate to the injustices Popeye suffers when Bluto attacks him or makes fun of him. Everyone can relate to how Popeye feels when Olive Oyl chooses Bluto the cad over noble Popeye. Everyone can relate to wanting to save and protect a loved one (whether or not they really deserve it). Everyone has wanted to beat up the bad guy. Every girl wants to be saved by the big strong man, and every man wants to be that man (whether or not they admit it). Popeye faces real and resonant foibles that everyone, regardless of age, gender or generation, can relate to - and because of that fact, Popeye has endured for almost a century.
Popeye DVDs, comic books, movies, figurines stuffed animals - and yes, candy cigarettes, are for sale all around the world.
Popeye Trivia: Bluto's name was changed to Brutus when King Features' television cartoons were created - they believed (incorrectly) that Paramount owned the rights to the name Bluto.
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Popeye Toys, Popeye Games, Popeye Comics,
Popeye Videos, Popeye & Bluto Costumes and more!